BREAKING MOVIE NEWS
Even the most die-hard of fans can probably understand why Aquaman has become a bit of a pop culture punchline. On a completely surface level, having powers that largely concern bodies of water seems a bit limiting (especially when so much of the main action is happening on land), and conversing with animals – particularly fish – can be seen as being kind of silly. In spite of these “issues,” however, Aquaman remains an original Justice League member and has been a mainstay of DC Comics going back to 1941.
Marvel Studios certainly has a jump start on the DC when it comes to building a cinematic universe, having been establishing itself as a brand since 2008, but don’t count the home of Batman and Superman out. In addition to having the big blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice scheduled to hit theaters in 2016, they have huge active plans for the entire rest of the decade. And this week we got a very limited peak into exactly what they have in the works.
This week I am joined by Jack Giroux from Film School Rejects, who helps me break down the ins and outs of the movie. In case the headline wasn’t a big enough clue, we do get into spoiler territory, so watch at your own risk if you haven’t seen the film yet. Now that’s all out of the way, hit the play button inside!
In the world of comic book movies, there is perhaps no bigger event in the world than San Diego Comic-Con. Every year, the major studios arrive in the coastal Southern California city to present previews of their biggest genre and fan-driven projects – and perhaps the most anticipated ones are the big blockbuster superhero films coming out over the next few years.
While the first 25 episodes of Hero Blend focused solely largely on superhero adaptations both at the movies and on television, this week we’re going back to the source. Marvel has made two huge announcements about a couple of their biggest characters, and it has sent a shockwave through the entire comic book-appreciating world.
Movies centering on Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Hulk were risky but necessary ventures when Marvel Studios was first starting out, as those heroes don’t have quite the same pop culture name recognition as heroes like Spider-Man or the Fantastic Four. As we’ve been saying for a few years now, however, the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy is in its own category within this department.
As successful as Marvel Studios has become building their own huge big screen franchise with heroes like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, the future of the Hulk remains a big question mark. Released in 2008, The Incredible Hulk has, to date, been the biggest box office disappointment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and as a result is the only movie thus far that doesn’t have either an existing sequel or in active production.
When it comes to the goings-on at Marvel Studios, nobody knows more than President Kevin Feige. One of the original architects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s the one pulling the strings of just about every move the company makes. His authority makes it so that when he speaks, geeks listen – and this week he spoke A LOT.
DC Comics has long had distinct advantage over Marvel where big screen adaptations are concerned. While the latter sold off the movie rights to many of its most popular characters years ago – including Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four – the former made a partnership with Warner Bros. pictures years ago that kept all of the company’s characters under one roof. Only now, however, does it appear that DC is finally taking advantage of this fact.
With Edgar Wright no longer involved, Ant-Man is now being written by Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers) and directed by Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Down With Love). Clearly these are not two names that the average person immediately thinks of when they are discussion potential comic book movie directors, and as a result the decision has been surrounded by quite a bit of controversy.
The past couple of weeks has been filled with all kinds of director drama for the folks over at Marvel Studios. It all began when an unauthorized rewrite drove Edgar Wright away from the director’s chair for Ant-Man. The drama stirred up all kinds of conversations, but the story that has persisted the longest is the weirdly futile attempts to find Wright’s replacement.
Marvel Studios has a long-established history of playing their cards close to the chest, and certainly one of their most secretive projects has been the upcoming series Daredevil, which will be the first in a collection of shows that will eventually be coming to Netflix. Slowly but surely, however, details have emerged about the project… and this week we were gifted with some huge developments.
Our spoiler-free review of Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past went online a full 10 days ago, with our very own Sean O’Connell giving the movie four and a half stars out of five, praising both the film’s engaging story and exciting action sequences. But now that screenings have officially begun in the United States it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty.
Given that this is the first time we’ve talked about a costume reveal on Hero Blend, I decided to go for a special co-host. Rather than having one of my fellow reporter friends on, this week I am joined by Tony D’Amato, a professional storyboard artist and big Batman fan. We had a great chat about both the new Batsuit and the Batmobile, so enjoy the episode posted inside!
Next week we will see the season finales of both the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the second season of Arrow, but rather than discussing endings, this week we are talking about beginnings. This fall we expect to be seeing the debut of a number of new comic book television shows, and this past Monday we got our first real look at one of the biggest ones: Gotham.
Now that we have reached May and the start of the summer blockbuster season, we can expect a regular stream of comic book movies hitting theaters over the next few months. Kicking things off is Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which has done its part to already become one of the most divisive movies of the year.
In the last 51 years, Spider-Man has not only stood the test of time as a comic book hero, but has become a true pop culture icon. Not only are comics about the webslinger still some of the most popular issues that Marvel produces, the character has been a part of films, television series, novels, radio shows and even Broadway. And yet, there are still some details about the character that a lot of the general public doesn’t know about.
Joining me as a co-host this week is Comic Book Resources/Screen Crave/Movie Pilot writer Melissa Molina, who helps me break down all of the footage we got to see, what our hopes for the film are, and much more. Check it out!
Marvel and DC have been competing as the biggest names in the comic book industry for decades, and that rivalry has spilled over into Hollywood in a major way. Big screen adaptations of classic characters like Iron Man, Batman, Captain America and Superman have helped the two companies compete for dominance in the comic book movie world, both in terms of quality of product and success at the box office. In 2016, however, their quest for dominance will be coming to a head.
With the new Captain America sequel out in theaters around the world already and arriving Stateside tonight, I have dedicated this week’s Hero Blend to a massive spoiler discussion about the movie. Joining me as my co-host for this episode is Amirose Eisenbach from AMC Movie News, who not only loved the movie as much as I did, but also has plenty of great insight in regard to what the film means for Joss Whedon’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron and the future of the Marvel Studios franchise.
As much as we’ve already seen from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it doesn’t compare to the preview that I got earlier this week in Las Vegas at CinemaCon, the annual convention for theater owners where studios put on huge presentations to show off footage from their biggest upcoming films.
While we are still a little more than two weeks away from the release of Marvel Studios’ latest film, today marks the day that critics are finally allowed to publish their reviews, and I am getting my two cents in. Not only have I written a five-star review of the film, I’ve also dedicated this week’s episode of Hero Blend to the film.
Hollywood shortlists are a bit tricky to navigate. Studios do what they can to keep the goings-on behind their biggest productions very hush-hush – at least until the ink on the contracts has dried - but every so often a list emerges of actors and filmmakers that are being considered to play important franchise roles. Sometimes the information can be questionable, but at other times it can be an amazing way to look into the way an upcoming film is being made.
From his origins as a propaganda-esque character back during World War II to his reintroduction as a hero lost out of time due to being frozen in a block of ice, Captain America has one of the most complex backstories in the history of the medium, and as a result can be a challenge to get into for new fans. But that’s where the latest episode of Hero Blend comes in.
The comic book movie world was changed forever when Marvel Studios released The Avengers in 2012. While studios had spent decades thinking that self-contained franchises for single superheroes was the best course of action, The Avengers box office proved that strategy isn’t enough anymore and that audiences want to see massive, multi-picture interlocking series up on the big screen.